The Orlando Magic couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end, shooting just in falling to the Miami Heat 90-78.
J.J. Redick had 17 points for the Magic while Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 27 points. LeBron James added 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
After getting off to a terrible start and falling behind 22-11, the Magic, sparked by Redick, went on a 16-2 run, taking a 27-24 lead. The Heat answered that run with a 17-2 run over their own and never looked back.
Miami’s suffocating defense was just too much for the Magic Sunday afternoon. The Heat used their normal strategy of clogging up the paint and closing out on the three-point shooters. Orlando still managed to hit 11 three-pointers, which kept the game somewhat respectable. However, that’s a far cry from the 17 they hit in the first meeting. Plus, the Magic were just brutal from inside the arc, going just 16-of-45 (35.6) on two-pointers. The Magic couldn’t get their pick-and-roll game going at all as both Jameer Nelson (seven points on 2-of-11 shooting) and Hedo Turkoglu (one point on 0-of-4 shooting) had terrible nights. In fact, Turkoglu didn’t score until hitting a free throw at the 5:27 mark.
When teams are missing shots, that allows the Heat to get out in transition and get easy buckets, something they did again Sunday.
Dwight Howard looked out of it from the start. He had trouble finishing down low and didn’t pass well out of bad looks and double teams – something he’s done a good job of this season. He also had a very poor night, by his standards, on the defensive end. The Heat got too many clean looks at the basket- and not just off of fantastic drives by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. The Magic also got beat up on the glass – they were outrebounded 48-40.
Howard finished with just 12 points, but did grab 15 rebounds.
- Glen Davis had another terrible shooting night (3-of-10), but you can’t fault his effort. As usual, Davis was active and played with energy. They just have to reel in his shooting, especially his long two-pointers. He had 12 points, but just three rebounds.
- Jason Richardson missed the game with a chest injury so the Magic used Von Wafer for the first time since a win over the Pacers on February 4 when he played six minutes. Wafer finished with nine points on 4-of-9 shooting.
- J.J. Redick kept the Magic in it early, but that just wasn’t enough because no one else had it going early.
- Both Dwyane Wade (27 points, six rebounds) and LeBron James (25 points,11 rebounds, eight assists) were fantastic as they nearly always are.
- Quentin Richardson gave the Magic some good minutes early in the game and even got some good looks off of the dribble, but he got a little shot-happy and wound up with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. It was nice to see him grab nine rebounds – Stan Van Gundy has been upset with Orlando’s rebounding.
- Rookie Justin Harper played in his fourth career game.
Next Up: The Magic will be in Milwaukee to take on the Bucks for the third time in nine days Monday night.
Final Thought: This one was just plain ugly. Miami’s defense and Orlando’s inept offense made them look like the team we saw a few weeks ago.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)
Tags: Chris Bosh Chris Duhon Dwight Howard Dwyane Wade Erik Spoelstra Glen Davis Hedo Turkoglu Ish Smith J.j. Redick Jameer Nelson Jason Richardson Larry Hughes LeBron James Miami Heat Mike Miller Norris Cole Orlando Magic Otis Smith Pat Riley Quentin Richardson Ryan Anderson Shane Battier Stan Van Gundy Udonis Haslem Von Wafer